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Old 07-27-2010, 03:14 PM   #26
Matt Williams
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

My brother in law has OCD and Asperger's on top. My sister divorced him but they still keep in touch. I honestly don't know how the hell she put up w/ it in the first place.

When he goes food shopping, he has to get the biggest boxes first and place everything in the cart like it's a jigsaw puzzle. It will take him 2 or 3 hours to go food shopping for maybe 20-30 items. I ran into him one time at the store and he looked frazzled trying to organize the cart.

He knows the first 100 digits of Pi.

Apparently when he was younger, he was in the hospital because he started counting and couldn't stop. He was up for 2 or 3 days straight counting. No, I don't know what number he got to.

You know how sometimes when you use the microwave you open it up before it starts beeping? If he opens the microwave w/ 1 second remaining, he will close the door again and finish the cycle even though it's only one second.

The Asberger's part is a real joy. He's a total prick and can't function in society. I remember at a wedding, one of my cousins asked him how old he was. He said it like "I'm 33 years 163 days old.". I mean WTF?



OP, do you do stuff like this? Do you chew your food a certain number of times on each side of the mouth? If someone asks what time it is, do you say 3:59 instead of 4:00?
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:17 PM   #27
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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My brother in law has OCD and Asperger's on top. My sister divorced him but they still keep in touch. I honestly don't know how the hell she put up w/ it in the first place.

When he goes food shopping, he has to get the biggest boxes first and place everything in the cart like it's a jigsaw puzzle. It will take him 2 or 3 hours to go food shopping for maybe 20-30 items. I ran into him one time at the store and he looked frazzled trying to organize the cart.

He knows the first 100 digits of Pi.

Apparently when he was younger, he was in the hospital because he started counting and couldn't stop. He was up for 2 or 3 days straight counting. No, I don't know what number he got to.

You know how sometimes when you use the microwave you open it up before it starts beeping? If he opens the microwave w/ 1 second remaining, he will close the door again and finish the cycle even though it's only one second.

The Asberger's part is a real joy. He's a total prick and can't function in society. I remember at a wedding, one of my cousins asked him how old he was. He said it like "I'm 33 years 163 days old.". I mean WTF?



OP, do you do stuff like this? Do you chew your food a certain number of times on each side of the mouth? If someone asks what time it is, do you say 3:59 instead of 4:00?
Yes, I am an Aspie, but I deal with this far better than the OCD.

Yes, I function in society better than most Aspies because I am a kind person who has taken many classes to put up a very good external facade. It is extremely emotionally-draining, and I sometimes come home exhausted as a result of doing it for several hours.

No, I actually stop the microwave at 1 second (and only 1 second) and get extremely pissed if the buzzer goes off.

Yes, I will say and abide by exact times, leave the house for work at 7:06 and leave work at 3:47. One minute late is an eternity.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:19 PM   #28
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

The hoarding part is very interesting...What exactly do you hoard?

FWIW, I too am curious about your meals...I think the menu would be interesting.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:21 PM   #29
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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The hoarding part is very interesting...What exactly do you hoard?

FWIW, I too am curious about your meals...I think the menu would be interesting.
I hoard coins, music and sports memorabilia, sports and trading cards, and other items of extrinsic value.

My menu consists of a LOT of oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, turkey sandwiches, and protein supplement. I have not eaten red meat in 6 years, sugar in 7 years.

My typical shopping list is not difficult--cylinders of oatmeal, cans of fruit and vegetables, some frozen fruits and veggies for balance, a loaf of bread, and some sliced deli turkey. But I ALWAYS need a full supply of everything on hand, and will not allow myself to get below a certain tolerance.

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Old 07-27-2010, 03:31 PM   #30
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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I constantly count, do not get me wrong, and everything I do must have perfect symmetry, but I feel these are to specific for an inclusion in a typical day. How were you able to overcome it?
Over time, it was driving me crazy and, honestly, I got tired of the weird looks and my wife constantly asking me what the hell I was doing when I was tapping the floor three more times with my right foot before leaving for vacation, etc. so I just decided I was going to quit. And did (about 99 percent of the time.)

I quit smoking decades ago and later lost 40 pounds, which I never put back on, so I knew I had the self-control to do it, which was comforting.

Like I said, I slip a little when I'm stressed (like clicking the hand history a second time every time I check it while playing poker), but otherwise it's just a distant memory.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:32 PM   #31
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Is there a chance you grow out of it?

I had the standard hand washing - actually it wasn't the number of times per day, it was spending 5+ minutes washing them and the lock checking. Prolly started around 10-11 too.

Now the hand-washing is almost completely gone and I might check a lock like 15-20% of the time.

With me, it was more like I couldn't concretely remember locking the door, so I checked it again, then maybe again. I came up with a little trick of assigning a number or a letter combo to the first check which allowed me to "store" the locking activity. Did your doctor have any little tricks like that for you?
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:34 PM   #32
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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Is there a chance you grow out of it?

I had the standard hand washing - actually it wasn't the number of times per day, it was spending 5+ minutes washing them and the lock checking. Prolly started around 10-11 too.

Now the hand-washing is almost completely gone and I might check a lock like 15-20% of the time.

With me, it was more like I couldn't concretely remember locking the door, so I checked it again, then maybe again. I came up with a little trick of assigning a number or a letter combo to the first check which allowed me to "store" the locking activity. Did your doctor have any little tricks like that for you?
If anything, I have grown into it, and it has gotten worse over time, to the extent that I went from denying my problems to finally confronting them. I am not sure if I will grow out of it, but at this point, I cannot even picture myself living a "normal" life. Then again, I don't allow anyone really into my life, and usually when they get in, they want out ASAP.

And just a nice side-note, I am responding to inquiries so quickly because I am refreshing this topic every 5 seconds.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:43 PM   #33
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

I'm still puzzled about you not being specific about your meals. Why does providing that information bother you?
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:43 PM   #34
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

You sound like a pretty normal guy. What does the medication do for you?
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:51 PM   #35
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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You sound like a pretty normal guy. What does the medication do for you?
It makes me sound like a pretty normal guy, able to have social function by holding back the feelings of inadequacy and internal awkwardness. I absolutely couldn't play live poker until I started my therapy, but I was finally able to make the leap.

A lot of my abnormality is only expressed to myself in isolation or to my closest confidants. To the public, I really try to sound like a normal guy, and the medication allows me to keep my mood and emotions in check.

The last thing I want to do is appear awkward or different, but those who know me well enough will be able to see through the facade, and learn what i am all about, usually producing unfavorable results.

It is a common misconception that those with severe mood disorders are easy to spot, but those of us who try to function in society prepare ourselves in advance in order to avoid scrutiny.

OCD may be a disorder rooted in mood, but its social effects are underestimated. I spend many a night alone.

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Old 07-27-2010, 03:54 PM   #36
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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I'm still puzzled about you not being specific about your meals. Why does providing that information bother you?
I did provide it, more or less, after many requests.

For breakfast, it is .90 cups of oatmeal with an orange and protein supplement for 500 calories.

Lunch consists of a turkey sandwich, dry, for 250 calories.

Dinner is another bowl of oatmeal with supplement, a can of green beans, and a can of carrots. 700 calories.

I add in a 350-calorie cushion for a snack in the nighttime, usually a bowl of oatmeal or, when I feel like splurging, some unbuttered popcorn.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:02 PM   #37
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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when I feel like splurging, some unbuttered popcorn.
Wow, what a rebel!

What do you do for holidays like Thanksgiving or a wedding?

BTW-I think what seperates you from a lot of the people that have OCD and Asberger's is that you actually realize it's a problem and try to fix it. My brother in law is a prick and bringing it up only makes him violent for the most part.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:06 PM   #38
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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Wow, what a rebel!

What do you do for holidays like Thanksgiving or a wedding?

BTW-I think what seperates you from a lot of the people that have OCD and Asberger's is that you actually realize it's a problem and try to fix it. My brother in law is a prick and bringing it up only makes him violent for the most part.
I think deep down he knows that dealing with it involves accepting some aspects of the personality/mood that may isolate you from other, despite your efforts to associate with them.

Thanksgiving, I eat very little, will try to justify in my mind that turkey is a clean, protein-rich food, and feel extremely guilty afterwards and spend time going through how I can compensate for the calorie surplus.

Weddings, I am socially avoidant, will usually show up just to "be seen", and leave before things get too awkward.

Overall, I know I will never be able to relate to people, and that I will always have these quirks that about 0.1% of the population can relate to. But it is no excuse to treat people like dirt and make an effort to reach out to others. 999 in 1000 people may find you to be repulsive, but the 1 in 1000 makes it worth the effort.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:10 PM   #39
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

does this health part of it carry over into working out a lot?
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:12 PM   #40
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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does this health part of it carry over into working out a lot?
Used to, I would do it 4 times a week for 1.5 hours per day, weight and cardio at 5:30 AM. I stopped when I realized that it drained my energy in the afternoon, making it difficult to function...although it did provide a nice morning boost.

Logging off for a spell, but I look forward to replying when I return...I am surprised more of the social aspect hasn't been asked about, since the OCD in itself is almost self-explanatory, but the residual effects are usually unexpected by those who are unfamiliar.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:14 PM   #41
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Do you hate fat people?
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:16 PM   #42
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Is/was your father fat?
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:19 PM   #43
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Could you goto sleep leaving some of the questions in this thread unanswered? or does OCD only manisfest itelf in certain aspects of your life.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:33 PM   #44
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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My typical shopping list is not difficult--cylinders of oatmeal, cans of fruit and vegetables, some frozen fruits and veggies for balance, a loaf of bread, and some sliced deli turkey. .
This is really just an aside, but you really need to go to the "Whole Earth" type food store and get steel cut oatmeal only. You can buy pounds and pounds of it. It is best cooked in a rice cooker just 4:1 water to oatmeal, and it cooks as long as rice. You can also blend it to a course powder to add more bulk to frozen fruit.

Good luck, I think you will do well as long as you don't let this "ramp up" over the years by dealing with it cognitively as you are doing. I think you are on the right track for that.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:50 PM   #45
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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Do you hate fat people?
Nope, since I know that it takes a great deal of effort to change oneself in that manner.

I used to be fat, and after years of criticism, I took the effort to turn my life around 180 degrees in this manner. Now, I get criticisms of being too thin, so I have come to the conclusion that people will never be happy.

And no, my father is not fat.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:52 PM   #46
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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Could you goto sleep leaving some of the questions in this thread unanswered? or does OCD only manisfest itelf in certain aspects of your life.
I tried to take a nap now, but here I am, answering questions. Good example?

It manifests itself in the respect that it allows my life to be consumed by select people or ideas. Everything else really does not matter, and it does do a great job of impeding sleep without the sedative.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:54 PM   #47
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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This is really just an aside, but you really need to go to the "Whole Earth" type food store and get steel cut oatmeal only. You can buy pounds and pounds of it. It is best cooked in a rice cooker just 4:1 water to oatmeal, and it cooks as long as rice. You can also blend it to a course powder to add more bulk to frozen fruit.

Good luck, I think you will do well as long as you don't let this "ramp up" over the years by dealing with it cognitively as you are doing. I think you are on the right track for that.
That stuff is more healthy, but the nearest mart like that is too far of a drive and too expensive for me. The quick oats are good enough to serve their purpose...but I will never, ever go to instant oatmeal. Ever.

For obvious reasons.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:08 PM   #48
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Watched that A&E show "Obsessed" for the first time last night. One guy's life was pretty much consumed by OCD habits, and he cried talking about how his brain was ruining his life. Yet when he was 16 he got basic therapy that pretty much eliminated it before relapsing a decade later, and indeed on this show he goes through 12 weeks of rehab that seem very basic (therapist engages him in a high-anxiety situation where that he'd normally want to ritualize but she tells him he can't, and then anxiety subsides) and by the end he's pretty much fully "cured".

So what kind of emotions/feelings prevent you from seeking therapy? Do OCD compulsions just make sense / seem normal while you're inside that frame of mind, or is there an extreme fear related to confronting these things (i.e. going a day without your calculated breakfasts)? The former seems unlikely since you're making an askme thread about it.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:15 PM   #49
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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Watched that A&E show "Obsessed" for the first time last night. One guy's life was pretty much consumed by OCD habits, and he cried talking about how his brain was ruining his life. Yet when he was 16 he got basic therapy that pretty much eliminated it before relapsing a decade later, and indeed on this show he goes through 12 weeks of rehab that seem very basic (therapist engages him in a high-anxiety situation where that he'd normally want to ritualize but she tells him he can't, and then anxiety subsides) and by the end he's pretty much fully "cured".

So what kind of emotions/feelings prevent you from seeking therapy? Do OCD compulsions just make sense / seem normal while you're inside that frame of mind, or is there an extreme fear related to confronting these things (i.e. going a day without your calculated breakfasts)? The former seems unlikely since you're making an askme thread about it.
It is actually rather interesting.

I can get over a specific ritual when I feel that I absolutely need to in order to move forward (for example, without money, I cannot buy more goods to collect). However, the compulsions largely result from the need to overcome stress, both internal stress generated from feelings of inadequacy and constant thoughts and external perceptions of being an outlier to society, which is also internal.

Thus, I can get over a specific obsession and compulsive behavior for a period of time, sometimes (rarely) without relapsing (I have gone over a year without my collecting habit until I became financially-secure once again). However, it is usually not long before another obsession is found, and when it is, it is like going back to square one.

I have sought therapy, and it largely failed because it was mainly about dealing with things on a societal, perceptual level without actually addressing the root of the mood disorder. As I said, there is no external stimulus present that causes the obsessions, and the obsessions are the stimuli behind the compulsions.

Very rarely do I feel normal during my more tumultuous bouts, and it is highlighted by conducting my ritualistic behavior in secret.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:19 PM   #50
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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The last thing I want to do is appear awkward or different, but those who know me well enough will be able to see through the facade, and learn what i am all about, usually producing unfavorable results.
By "unfavorable results," do you mean that most people you let into your world
react negatively? If so, could it be that they're reacting to your social avoidance vibe more than the OCD itself?

I understand that you don't wish to appear different, but you are different (and I give you credit for dealing with this head-on). What's the value of maintaining the facade since it doesn't seem to help much?
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